QCould you please clarify the situation with soft toys and young children? Can my two-year-old daughter have cuddly toys in bed?
AChild health nurse Sharon Donaldson says: A favourite soft toy can be a memorable, comforting part of childhood. However, it’s considered unsafe for your child to take a soft toy to bed with her during her first year due to the risk of smothering while asleep. From about 12 to 18 months, young children often develop attachments to teddy bears, dolls or comforters such as their old swaddle/wrap or blanket. Having a familiar toy helps children through clingy toddler phases and, once your daughter is over the age of one, it’s okay to include a favourite soft cuddly toy as part of her bedtime routine. If you feel uncomfortable leaving soft toys in your toddler’s bed, then you can always remove it when she is asleep. Although the risk of smothering is greatly reduced due to your child’s development and increasing activity while she is asleep, you still need to be very careful when it comes to choosing a soft, cuddly toy. Avoid toys with parts that can come off (like sewn-on button eyes) or with wire that could poke your baby. I’d also recommend having more than one of the same toy if it’s a favourite, in case it gets lost or is in need of urgent washing!